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Stay informed on the latest forest industry news and market insights.

F&W is committed to helping landowners get the most out of their timberland – one of the best tools is current and relevant information. Through the F&W Forestry Report, our clients and subscribers gain an insider’s view on the latest market conditions, timber prices and legislation affecting forestry. Each quarterly report is packed with insights gathered from our participation in professional associations, academic research cooperatives and everyday work in the forest to give you an edge in the marketplace.

Forest Industry Operating During Pandemic; Forestry Leader Urges Caution On Planting Trillion Trees

Forest Industry Operating During Pandemic; Forestry Leader Urges Caution On Planting Trillion Trees

It’s too soon to know what kind of impact the COVID-19 pandemic will have on U.S. timber markets, but the forestry sector has been designated as an essential industry and is therefore allowed to operate during the crisis, the head of one of the nation’s largest forest management firms writes in his company’s quarterly newsletter.

“Pulp mills for the most part are still operating with some forgoing planned downtime to continue production.  There have been some production curtailments at sawmills in the South due to the virus, while hardwood sawmills in the North are responding favorably to tariff relief on hardwood lumber,” reports Marshall Thomas, president of F&W Forestry Services, Inc.

Despite the coronavirus disruption, the first quarter of the year was a busy one for forestry, with significant attention focused on the global trillion trees tree-planting scheme and the introduction of the Trillion Trees Act in Congress.

Thomas lauded provisions of the federal legislation, particularly those that aim to improve timber markets and incentivize innovative building practices that utilize wood, which would result in increased carbon storage.  But he cautioned legislators against subsidizing commercial tree planting without restricting future harvest.

“The private sector can handle reforestation—what we need are markets,” Thomas writes.  “Let’s hope that planting incentives come with strings that prevent subsidized trees from being dumped into and ruining our Southern pine markets like the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) did for pulpwood-sized trees in the early 2000’s and is currently doing to sawtimber-sized trees today.”


F&W Managers Assess Recent Tree Planting Season

F&W Managers Assess Recent Tree Planting Season

The latest survey of F&W managers on reforestation activity in their areas during the recent 2019/20 tree planting season was mixed but almost all managers said tree planting was above or the same as five years ago.

A common theme voiced by F&W managers was that timber markets were the principal driver of tree planting, with improving markets in some areas bumping up reforestation activity while a lack of markets in other areas caused a decline.

The predominate tree species planted by F&W offices is loblolly pine and more managers reported planting container seedlings.  Managers said they decided to use container seedlings because of higher survival rates, increased early growth, planting flexibility, and difficult terrain that requires sites to be hand-planted.  Most managers report that planting densities are down compared to five years ago, citing improved genetics, better growth, more use of container seedlings, and research supporting a trend towards planting fewer trees per acre.

The survey was based on data and observations from 13 managers in 11 states.  The responses came primarily from managers in the Southern Pine Belt region, where widespread tree planting is a common practice.  The Northeast and hardwood regions of the U.S. rely mostly on natural regeneration so there is little in the way of tree planting.


Positive Signs For Wood Sector With Signing Of Trade Agreement

Positive Signs For Wood Sector With Signing Of Trade Agreement

The trade agreement signed by President Trump and Chinese Vice Premier Liu He in January included a commitment by China to purchase a substantial amount of goods from the U.S. over the next two years.  Specifically, hardwood lumber was included in a list of manufactured goods altogether of which China will purchase no less than $120 billion this year and $131.9 billion in 2021.

Additionally, the two countries reduced some tariffs and cancelled others not yet in place.

China also released lists of products for which they will exempt certain eligible Chinese companies from having to pay higher tariffs for one year.  Hardwood logs and lumber and some softwood lumber products are included on these lists, with hardwoods also eligible for tariff refunds.


Georgia Announces Hurricane Disaster Relief Program

Georgia Announces Hurricane Disaster Relief Program

Georgia officials announced a $347 million block grant program to assist timber and agricultural producers who sustained damage during Hurricane Michael, which tore through the state in October 2018.  The grant program seeks to compensate Georgia forest landowners and agriculture producers for losses not already covered under existing USDA Farm Service Agency programs, and will cover timber, beef, dairy, fruit and vegetable, pecan, poultry, and uninsured infrastructure losses.

Georgia forest landowners and producers in the 95 counties designated as primary and continuous disaster counties by USDA who demonstrate losses in the categories mentioned above are eligible to apply.  The Georgia Department of Agriculture (GDA) is accepting online applications for the grant program from March 18, 2020, through April 30, 2020.  For more information and to apply, visit

In November, Florida officials announced a program to provide $381 million in grant funds to compensate timber producers for lost value of their trees damaged by Hurricane Michael.  For more information on the Florida program visit:

The F&W Forestry Report is published quarterly for our clients reporting on the latest market conditions, timber prices and legislation affecting forestry.

Winter 2016

Spring 2016

Winter 2015

Please note that archived newsletters lag
one year behind current publications.

Fountains Forestry Changes
Name to F&W


F&W Establishes Thomasville Office


For media inquiries, contact Bates Associates: 770-451-0370,